Myth 3: Dairy products make a child's cold worse
It's just not true that dairy products increase mucus production or thicken nasal secretions. "The cold virus itself causes mucus production in the nose and the back of the throat," explains Kathleen J. Motil, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics at the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston. "Dairy products simply coat the lining of the back of the throat, making it feel funny." You can continue to offer your child milk or other dairy products when she's sick with a cold. If she won't drink milk, don't worry. Simply give her other liquids -- water, juice, or chicken soup -- until she feels better. Even if she doesn't have much of an appetite, it's important that she get plenty to drink to ward off dehydration and keep mucus flowing through her nasal passages.